He put his ungloved hands in his pockets and asked what I wanted to do next.
"At this point, just go home. I'm cold, tired and haven't been there since Saturday morning."
He asked me where home was and I told him I was halfway between moving into a new apartment and living with my parents. I told him the new one was on Richmont Street because I knew he'd ask where.
He just laughed.
Turns out he lives on the bottom of the hill. I could see his house from my attic window. Too convenient, I thought. Get out of this while you can.
"Looks like we'll be hanging out a lot more."
I looked up only to reveal a half-hearted smile and then quickly covered my mouth in my gauzy scarf again.
There's no reason I shouldn't have been eager to hang out with him. He was great. He did everything right. Made me laugh. Made sure I didn't have too much. Listened. Asked questions. Didn't try too hard. He was cute, too. Also tall, but thinner than the former. Glasses like the former and his skin isn''t quite flawless. I didn't care; mine isn't either. He's in a cool band and like the former, I like the way he dresses and how he crosses his long legs.
That's why I felt so dishonest the whole time. I kept seeing similarities. The former has a year on him, a career and nicer eyes. And though he is definitely not the one for me, I couldn't help but let my mind stray to when he and I first started dating. The way we sat in the parking lot all night. The eagerness I felt waiting to see him after work. His snugglebug tendencies and how he tried to make me laugh about everything. It made me sick thinking of him trying that with someone else. I had no right to stop it; but I couldn't help feeling terrible twinges of jealousy. I was so ashamed.
Even more ashamed that I was thinking of how he was probably drinking tea to keep warm, smelling like Indian food (but not because he was cooking it) and probably watching Social Distortion or Danzig videos on YouTube alone. I wanted to think of him in a pathetic state, and for that I felt awful. Maybe I give myself too much credit. Maybe he wasn't alone. Maybe he already found someone else to share his twin size bed with. Maybe they were fucking while I stood there in the cold in what felt like cities away from where and who I'd rather be cold with. I could've slapped myself for thinking that. Not what'd he'd do, I'd tell myself, knowing it's the truth. He's not that kind of guy.
Everyone I've ever had to let go of wronged me in some way. All he did was not be right for me. And I'm far too apologetic for the stuff I fucked up to let go right now.
I could've done what I wanted to do. Let this new potential suitor undress me so I would still feel desired, wanted and most of all, needed, but I knew that empty tactic I've used for so long just wasn't going to do anymore.Being used does not garner one necessity. I thought of it. I really did. I knew it'd be chilly in the attic where i was sleeping and I always loved the sensation of a guy feeling up my cold sides in the dark winter. But I knew half of my desire for him was being driven by spite. So I gave the spectacled 28 year old in front of me a hug that if I were the recipient would think was cheap, said goodnight and started my car.
When I saw the last of Mike's taillights in the snow shower haze, I ran into the courthouse yard, gathered a fistful of snow and pegged it into the nothingness. All it did was come apart in the air before falling back down on top of fluffy flakes like itself.